Blame thyself

11 01 2021

A couple of days ago PPT pointed to an article discussing the long-standing failures of the police.

There’s an another article on police corruption, concentrating on anti-democrat Kaewsan Atibhodhi. Oddly, Thai PBS refers to this royalist propagandist as an “academic,” but that seems par for the course in the mainstream media.

He blames the current virus outbreak as a product of “COVID mafia.” This term refers to “corrupt officials who work hand in glove with local influential figures involved in illegal gambling, in eastern region of Thailand, and with human trafficking gangs, who smuggle migrant workers from Myanmar into Samut Sakhon province and illegal Thai workers from Myanmar back into Thailand.”

Kaewsan

Kaewsan claims that the “mafia system” is a “network” between “state officials and local influential figures…”. He reckons “that the influential figure in Rayong province has managed to buy the entire police force, be it the local police and the Bangkok police, including the Crime Suppression Division, by dealing with just one group of state officials.”

He went on to lament that “he didn’t expect the police will ever be reformed under the present government, and there is no real opposition in the parliament either, but only the vengeful group of politicians and another group bent on toppling the Monarchy.”

We do not disagree with Kaewsan’s assessment. However, as a lamentable royalist and a supporter of two military coups, he misses the most significant point: Kaewsan and his ilk bear considerable responsibility because it is they who, as anti-democrats, have supported the system that promotes this corruption and the impunity enjoyed by military, police and officials. By supporting regimes that roll back notions of responsibility and accountability and make impunity a central element of governance, they reinforce this kind of corruption.

Since the 2006 military coup and especially since the 2014 coup, the police force has not been cleansed or reformed. Rather, as we have said, it has been made royalist and junta/post-junta regime friendly. Constant corruption operates as a reward for loyalty and a lubrication for the the hierarchy.

Because of his complicity, Kaewsan is unable to speak the truth.





NACC and evidence

2 04 2014

During the period following the 2006 military coup, the judiciary and “independent” agencies repeatedly trampled over principles of law in order to deliver decision that were in the interests of the royalist elite.

PPT can think of several such cases that involved double standards and the jettisoning of all legal principles. A favorite is the junta’s Assets Scrutiny Committee (or the Asset Examination Committee) which was stacked with anti-Thaksin Shinawatra appointees and its work was only ruled legal because it was undertaken under junta rules. That committee’s secretary Kaewsan Atibhodhi claimed “evidence and witnesses are useless,” with one of its panels recommending legal action without hearing 300 witnesses or considering 100 additional pieces of evidence (Bangkok Post, 9 April 2008). Another example is the 2008 judicial coup that resulted in the dissolution of several parties that formed the government, where the Constitutional Court refused to hear more than 200 witnesses in the defense of the three parties that were dissolved (a pro-royalist account of this is available).

Why do we recall all of this? Simply because a similar process is now underway at the National Anti-Corruption Commission, which is making itself some kind of judge and jury but which refuses to follow normal legal procedures. The situation that reflects this is the appearance of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra at the NACC, where she made available “200 pages of evidence” and  “asked the NACC to consider her documents and she would be willing to provide more information if needed.” In addition, she “told the NACC that she has prepared 11 witnesses to argue against the charges in 13 points…”.

Within about 24 hours, the NACC had made a decision on this. According to the Bangkok Post, the NACC has decided to only allow Yingluck “to bring in three more witnesses in a case where she is accused of dereliction of duties involving the rice-pledging scheme.”

Yes, in about a day, the NACC apparently considers that we should believe that it has read and digested the information and requests it received. Of course, it hasn’t. Evidence doesn’t matter in the progress of the judicial coup. Rather, the NACC has taken yet another politicized decision yet again and is seeking to wrap up its role in the judicial coup as quickly as possible.





Abhisit in court

27 03 2014

Yesterday PPT made mention of Abhisit Vejjajiva and Suthep Thaugsuban in the context of asking why the military brass were not being held responsible for murderous attacks on red shirts in 2010.

A couple of days ago, before his tumble and stint in hospital*, Democrat Party leader and former premier Abhisit was in court defending an associated case brought against him. In a report at The Nation, the Criminal Court stated that he “could have committed an abuse of authority if he had failed to follow crowd control practices or issue orders without reasonable grounds in connection with the deadly military crackdown on red-shirt protesters in April-May 2010.”Snipers

Interestingly, the court took on one of the principal defenses that Abhisit has used, saying that he “could have committed an abuse of authority in accordance with the Criminal Code or offences under the Emergency Decree law if he issued wrongful or unreasonable orders after having imposed the state of emergency.” Abhisit always hides behind these laws and decrees.

Abhisit reportedly denied “murder and attempted murder charges filed against him.”

These cases are brought by the Office of the Attorney General’s Special Cases Litigation Office and refer to the violent deaths of taxi driver Pan Kamgong (43) and Kunakorn Srisuwan (14). Relatives of the two are co-plaintiffs in the case. It is argued that the people killed and injured was as “a result of the crowd control operation ordered by Abhisit because security officials used real bullets.” Suthep is accused of “approving the use of real bullets and sharp shooters [snipers] during the operation.”

Missing from court was Suthep, who despite having an arrest warrant out for him, swans around Bangkok, leading the anti-democrats and surrounded by armed thug-guards. Apparently also protected by someone higher up, Suthep thumbs his nose at the courts when he wants to, while cheering the decisions of certain biased elements of the judiciary.

*Readers who watched the clip of yellow-shirt lawyer Kaewsan Atibhodhi will recall that he made use of pictures of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra following her tumble from a van that had her in a wheelchair as part of his political attack on her.





Let the blood flow!

24 03 2014

Several readers have sent us links to reports of a speech by long-time yellow-shirt and (by definition) anti-Thaksin Shinawatra lawyer Kaewsan Atibhodhi. We are using a link we were sent for a Facebook post at Kaewmala ThaiTalk. It is revealing of the hatred of the red shirts and the desire for a final and bloody battle with the red shirts. Presumably martial law requires a military coup and the military then gunning down red shirts (again) for the likes of Kaewsan:

… Kaewsan Atibhodi caused a big stir with his fiery speech last night. How fiery? Aj. Somsak Jeam[teerasakul] has sourced a video (from Blue Sky Channel) and transcribed part of his speech which I have translated into English below.

[PPT: Kaewsan begins with the usual nasty personalized attacks on Yingluck Shinawatra and others he hates, calling them fools, dogs, jungle lizards and using foul language throughout. At times he refers to the “Thaksin regime” and members of the Shinawatra family and red shirts as a cancer on Thailand that needs to be surgically removed. Cuting out the cancer appears to require a bloodletting.]

Mr. Kaewsan is a former law lecturer, former senator, and a well known politician-turned activist in the establishment camp. He shows us how “righteous people” can be _very scary_ indeed.Kaewsan was saying if the Redshirts would ‘dare come’ (กล้าเข้ามา) to Bangkok, they would have to be “quashed” (ปราบ). [PPT: thinks “suppressed” or “crushed” is a better translation.]

Quote: “… Firstly, whenever the Redshirts, whether as a force within their party, an armed group, or a mass [rally], dare come and put a knife at the neck of the NACC, the Court or the Bangkokians, and say ‘Don’t move while we continue to rape you!’, whenever it comes to that point, there’s no need for any election. Declare martial law and quash them. Quash them! Enough, enough. Enough of this repeated [aggression?]. [They] reject the power of the Court, reject the law, insult and abuse, make corruption, issue laws for themselves. Again and again. In other countries, they would have all been shot f**king dead. That leaves just us, standing right here. Whenever it comes to that point, they say they’ll come on April 5, I say there’s no other way out. If the cancer is this aggressive, it calls for surgery. Declare martial law. Take care of them. Point 1, what I have just said is not Khun Suthep’s or PDRC’s opinion, but a legal opinion as to what course of action is needed for the cause. Point 2, after the force has been used to maintain order…”

“…หนึ่ง เมื่อไหร่พวกแดง ไม่ว่าในพรรคหรือกองกำลัง หรือมวลชน กล้าเข้ามาเอามีดจ่อคอ ปปช หรือศาล หรือคนกรุงเทพ (แล้ว)บอกมึงอย่าขยับขอกูข่มขืนต่อไป เมื่อไหร่มันมาถึงจุดนั้นเมื่อไหร่ ไม่ต้องเลือกตั้ง ประกาศกฏอัยการศึก ปราบมันเลย ปราบมันเลย พอแล้ว พอแล้ว ซ้ำซากพอแล้ว ปฏิเสธอำนาจตุลาการ ปฏิเสธกฎหมาย หยามเหยียด คอร์รัปชั่น ออกกฎหมายเพื่อตัวเอง ซ้ำๆซากๆ เป็นบ้านอื่นเมืองอื่นเค้าไล่ยิ่งแม่งตายไปหมดแล้ว มีพวกเรานี่แหละยังยืนอยู่นี่แหละ แต่ถ้าถึงจุดนั้นเมื่อไหร่ ที่ว่า 5 เมษายน จะมานี่นะครับ ผมว่าไม่มีทางออกทางอื่น ถ้ามะเร็งมันกำเริบขนาดนี้นะครับ ต้องผ่า ประกาศกฏอัยการศึก จัดการมันเลย ข้อที่ 1 ที่ผมพูดไปนี่ ไม่ใช่ความเห็นคุณสุเทพหรือ กปปส แต่เป็นความเห็นในทางกฎหมายว่า ว่าเหตุถึงขนาดนี้แล้วต้องทำอะไรบ้าง ข้อที่ 2 หลังจากใช้กำลังจัดการให้อยู่ในที่ในทาง …”

From Min. 25 in this video:

นี่คือคำพูดเต็มๆของแก้วสรร เมือคืนนะครับเมื่อคืน ผมฟังสด แล้วเขียนสรุปไป ไม่กี่นาที ผมก็ตัดสินใจ”ซ่อน”ไว้ เพราะมาคิดว่า น่าจะดูคลิปและถอดคำพูดเขาให้ตรงๆเป๊ะๆดีกว่า แต่ก็มีเพื่อนหลายท่าน “ไว” มาก capture ทีผมโพสต์ และบางท่าน ยังทำเป็นสไลด์ รูปแก้วสรร แล้วเอาคำทีผมสรุปไปโพสต์ด้วยว่าเป็นคำแก้วสรรจริงๆที่ผมสรุปก็ตรงนะ ไม่ได้บิดเบี้ยวอะไร แต่นี่คือ คำพูดของเขาจริงๆ คำต่อคำ นาทีที่ 25 นะครับ (ตอนแก้วสรรพูด “ปราบมันเลย” ย้ำ 2 ครั้ง นี่เน้นเสียงดุดันมาก) ขอให้สังเกตว่า “ตัวอย่าง” ที่แก้วสรรพูดว่า ถ้าเสื้อแดง “กล้าเข้ามา” นี่คือตัวอย่างจริง เรื่อง นปช นัดชุมนุม 5 เมษา ด้วย”…หนึ่ง เมื่อไหร่พวกแดง ไม่ว่าในพรรคหรือกองกำลัง หรือมวลชน กล้าเข้ามาเอามีดจ่อคอ ปปช หรือศาล หรือคนกรุงเทพ (แล้ว)บอกมึงอย่าขยับขอกูข่มขืนต่อไป เมื่อไหร่มันมาถึงจุดนั้นเมื่อไหร่ ไม่ต้องเลือกตั้ง ประกาศกฏอัยการศึก ปราบมันเลย ปราบมันเลย พอแล้ว พอแล้ว ซ้ำซากพอแล้ว ปฏิเสธอำนาจตุลาการ ปฏิเสธกฎหมาย หยามเหยียด คอร์รัปชั่น ออกกฎหมายเพื่อตัวเอง ซ้ำๆซากๆ เป็นบ้านอื่นเมืองอื่นเค้าไล่ยิ่งแม่งตายไปหมดแล้ว มีพวกเรานี่แหละยังยืนอยู่นี่แหละ แต่ถ้าถึงจุดนั้นเมื่อไหร่ ที่ว่า 5 เมษายน จะมานี่นะครับ ผมว่าไม่มีทางออกทางอื่น ถ้ามะเร็งมันกำเริบขนาดนี้นะครับ ต้องผ่า ประกาศกฏอัยการศึก จัดการมันเลย ข้อที่ 1 ที่ผมพูดไปนี่ ไม่ใช่ความเห็นคุณสุเทพหรือ กปปส แต่เป็นความเห็นในทางกฎหมายว่า ว่าเหตุถึงขนาดนี้แล้วต้องทำอะไรบ้าง ข้อที่ 2 หลังจากใช้กำลังจัดการให้อยู่ในที่ในทาง …”

Kaewsan has a long history of supporting anti-democratic causes, from the People’s Alliance for Democracy to the military junta in 2006 and every royalist and fascist group that has been created since.

Back when the military junta appointed him to “examine” Thaksin’s assets, the Assets Scrutiny Committee (or the Asset Examination Committee) was stacked with anti-Thaksin appointees and its work was only ruled legal because its work was undertaken under junta rules. PPT’s favorite example of “independence” of this mob was Kaewsan, as its secretary, claimed “evidence and witnesses are useless,” with one of its panels recommending legal action without hearing 300 witnesses or considering 100 additional pieces of evidence (Bangkok Post, 9 April 2008). Now he just wants a bloodletting. This is the kind of legal/political mind who wants to “reform” Thailand!





Anti-democratic “academics”

14 12 2013

According to The Nation newspaper, the anti-democratic movement has “many experts” who take roles in the movement, as “committee members, including former MPs, academics, businesspeople, and activists.” Most of the activists are former members of the People’s Alliance for Democracy and its spin-off and front organizations. The list at the report has this:

Regular academics who advise the PDRC’s leaders include: Sombat Thamrongthanyawong, former rector of the National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA); Banjerd Singkaneti, dean of Nida’s Graduate School of Law; Charas Suwanmala, former dean of Chulalongkorn’s Faculty of Political Science; and Kaewsan Athibodhi, leader of the Thai Spring group….

All of these have been anti-Thaksin Shinawatra activists since the early days of PAD. Sombat and Banjerd have long been leaders of yellow-shirted “academics,” showing up for every single group that has spun off from PAD, including the most extreme and reactionary.

Charas has effectively been a propagandist for PAD from the beginning and cooperated with the military junta and its government. His political views are rabidly anti-democratic and pro-monarchy.

Kaewsan is equally right-wing, although his politics seem driven by a personal hatred of Thaksin rather than any ideology as he has had a career in hiring himself out as a loudmouth. Most recently he has joined with racist fascists like former palace policeman Vasit Dejkunjorn.

Added to this list of hardened rightists and royalists is the now quite incoherent retiree Thirayuth Boonmee. He is said to have:

attended a meeting at the PDRC’s war room just before Suthep issued a statement requesting a meeting with Supreme Commander General Tanasak Patimapragorn and commanders of the Army, Navy and Air Force, as well as the commissioner-general of the National Police.

These “academics” bear much responsibility for the continual undermining of electoral democracy in Thailand. Their efforts are no doubt rewarded in various ways, but their positions place them in a long line of military and royalist anti-democrats who have acted for a wealth and powerful minority against the majority.





Royalist reactionaries

17 05 2013

The usual royalist suspects are at it again. By “it” we mean agitating for royalists and anti-Thaksin Shinawatra activists to come together to oppose the elected government.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with opposing the elected government. The problem is that these royalists have a long history of using undemocratic methods, including judicial and military coups, to bring  down elected and popular governments.

The Thai Spring is a website established with this moniker: “Thai Spring: Organized by Police Gen. Vasit Dejkunjorn and Mr. Kaewsun Atibodhi.” PPT has previously posted on both of these royalist reactionaries. For our posts on the royal copper, racist and xenophobe, click here. For more on the royalist lawyer who propagandized for the military and worked for the junta, click here.

Royalist Vasit

Royalist Vasit

Their site is at change.org, which is a site for all kinds of  rights claims, rants, complaints and issues that drive anywhere from10s of people to hundreds of thousands. It claims to be  “[e]mpowering people everywhere to create the change they want to see.”

It does this mainly through petitions. Thai Spring seems more like a blog than a petition. Why the old royalists have chosen this site rather than the more common WordPress blog is anyone’s guess.

When we last looked it had just over 13,000 signatories and 56 “friends.” As the royalists get the word out, the yellow ones will likely sign in droves.

The establishment of the site is reported at the Bangkok Post. In that report, the site is said to be a place where “where people can voice their opposition to the Yingluck Shinawatra government…”. There are already hundreds of such sites, but the pompous copper seems to think his will carry more weight, probably because of his much-used palace links.

Old Vasit doesn’t describe himself as a democrat -usually a position associated with the Arab Spring – but as a “person who adheres strongly to the principle of a democratic administration under the monarchy,” which is no democracy at all, but the royalist elite’s post-Cold War construction of their state.

And the reactionary Vasit is clear what he opposes: he says he is “aware there are groups people trying relentlessly to undermine the highest institution in the country.” He means the monarchy.

Vasit has convinced himself that:

Those people have a plan to take over Thailand and change its administrative system, and he would not stand by and allow this to happen….

Thai Spring is apparently to allow yellow shirts “people” to “sign in and express disapproval of the prime minister’s speech in Ulan Bator.” Apparently Vasit thinks a speech on democracy is a threat to the monarchy.

Vasit hopes that the site will eventually lead to “anti-government protests by huge numbers of people.” The last time his lot tried to mobilize people for Pitak Siam, they failed.

Kaewsan

Kaewsan

Kaewsan is reported as stating that “he believes the present government lacks the legitimacy to administer the country.” He continues to ignore election results,which have seen pro-Thaksin parties elected every time there has been an election since 2000. His view is that election victories amount to a “dictatorship of a majority…”.

His claim that “Yingluck’s speech in Ulan Bator, Mongolia, had isolated democratically minded Thai people from the rest of the world” defies any rational commentary. We won’t even try to guess at what he means.

With bizarre assistance from ministers like Information and Communication Technology Minister Anudith Nakornthap’s political foot-in-mouth calisthenics and the arrogant political stupidity of Deputy Prime Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi, PPT would have thought that the government’s political opponents might have come up with something better than royalist has-beens.





Authoritarian speak

3 05 2013

Thailand’s anti-democrats/authoritarians express themselves most clearly when they are most rabid and frothing about those they hate with irrational fervor.

So it is that Khao sod reports on a statement by Kaewsan Atibhodhi, a former member of the military junta-established Assets Scrutiny Committee that was meant to investigate corruption cases against ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. On the ASC, Kaewsan once made the remarkable claim that “evidence and witnesses are useless,” when one of its panels recommended legal action against Thaksin without hearing 300 witnesses or considering 100 additional pieces of evidence (Bangkok Post, 9 April 2008).

Kaewsan has also been a member of the ultra-royalist Siam Samakkhi group and attempted to concoct legal cases against Yingluck Shinawatra during the 2011 election campaign.

Kaewsan and his ultra-royalist buddy Tul

Kaewsan and his ultra-royalist buddies

He has posted an “open letter” at his Facebook pages that joins the long list of increasingly sordid and irrational criticisms of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s  speech in Mongolia on Thai democracy. His claims are not only driven by the irrationality that derives from his extreme personal hatred of Thaksin but by a deep intolerance to electoral democracy. Having served as a minion for the junta, the latter should be no surprise.

In addition, as is often the case when passion takes over from reason, Kaewsan’s grasp of reality is shown to be wanting when he compares Yingluck and her family to the Kim dynasty in North Korea.

As with other ultra-royalists and anti-democrats, Kaewsan declares Yingluck’s speech “lies” and proclaims the Shinawatra clan to be holding a “dictatorship over Thai people.” Yingluck, he says,

came to power via her brother′s influence, “not unlike how Kim Jong Un inherited the throne from his father”. Mr. Kaewsan also [repeatedly]… compar[ed] the Shinawatras to the Kim dynasty that has been ruling North Korea for decades.

He went on to blame the media for the dictatorship of the Shinawatra family:

“The Thai media obediently encourages the mass to be loyal to Shinawatra family, similar to the Korean media [sic]”, according to the open letter, which was written in Thai, “when you go to North Korea, you will see faces of the Dear Leader staring out from billboards. Such is the case in Thailand. The servants of the Shinawatra family are everywhere.”

PPT has its doubts that Kaewsan is a regular visitor to North Korea or that he has thought too much about the misplaced analogy. After all, if he’d thought for even a millisecond he might have noticed that if a comparison is to be drawn between North Korea and Thailand it might better be to the cult of personality between the autocratic family of rulers in North Korea and the monarchy in Thailand.

What is more significant is that Kaewsan’s misplaced comparison is just one more yellow-shirted statement indicating this neo-fascist movement’s rejection of electoral democracy. Kaewsan has probably noticed that Yingluck won a landslide electoral victory in what amounted to an emphatic rejection of his style of politics that links royalism, military and authoritarianism. We can’t recall the Kim dynasty in North Korea winning a free election.  On the other hand, pro-Thaksin parties have won every election since 2000. And that seems to be the point. Kaewsan and his ilk can’t stand the idea that the majority of Thais have repeatedly and steadfastly supported pro-Thaksin parties. Hence they reject elections and electoral democracy.





Further updated: The Constitutional Court simply has to be politically biased

8 06 2012

Kaewsan Atibhodhi has a long history of anti-Thaksin Shinawatra activism followed by deep engagement with the military junta after the 2006 military coup. He is a former member of the junta’s Assets Scrutiny Committee that was charged with investigating Thaksin and the claims of unusual wealth, policy corruption and so on.

He has recently joined the ultra-royalist Siam Samakkhi group that has insistently rallied against constitutional amendments.  In March, at one of its rallies, along with its head, who is a former member of the post-coup military junta, and joined by a range of elite supporters like Tul Sitthisomwong and Chirmsak Pinthong, they cheered two thugs who had beaten up Nitirat’s Worachet Pakeerut. So much for rule of law amongst Siam Samakkhi and its supporters!

Kaewsan and his ultra-royalist buddy Tul

With all of this background, Kaewsan – a lawyer – is the perfect advocate for the Constitutional Court’s political and illegal intervention and his argument deserves attention.

At the Bangkok Post, Kaewsan states that those who petitioned the Court see “efforts to pass the charter amendment bill as an attempt by some legislators to overthrow the constitutional monarchy.”

The “evidence” for this claim is the attempt to “amend Section 291 of the constitution, which would allow a Constitution Drafting Assembly (CDA) to be set up to rewrite the charter.”

In fact, this move by the government is attempting to meet an earlier demand by the Democrat Party and other ultra-royalists for increased consultation beyond that currently in the constitution, where all the emphasis is on parliament.

Despite this concession, the ultra-royalists are unhappy and (again) conjure an anti-monarchy plot claim. Kaewsan says the:

“complainants believe the Pheu Thai Party will exert undue influence on the CDA as it is set up. They also expect the party to influence the public hearing process and the types of changes which will be made to the charter by their hand-selected assembly. The petitioners say they are concerned these amendments will eventually bring about the overthrow of the constitutional monarchy.

In other words, the case made by the petitioners is a sloppy collection of cockeyed ideology, guesses, and suppositions.

Even so, Kaewsan’s understanding is that the Court is on board with these beliefs and suspicions: “I understand that the Constitution Court wants to know how the charter will be rewritten.”

Kaewsan

Of course, the Court has no legal power to do this (see below). So Kaewsan “explains” that in:

“reviewing the petition, the court may interpret Section 68 of the constitution mainly in the political aspect, not the legal aspect.

If that isn’t clear, Kaewsan then embarks on a discussion of why the Court must be political:

If we consider the case in a purely legal light, it is correct … that the court does not have authority to suspend parliament’s readings of the constitution amendment bills.

Let’s repeat that: the Court has no legal authority. None. But that doesn’t stop the ultra-royalists like Kaewsan:

if we take into account the petitioners’ concerns about political manoeuvring, it is a different matter and the court’s decision to suspend proceedings can be understood….

He’s right. The Court’s illegal but political decision is easily understood as a politically-driven intervention based on royalist ideology and conspiracies:

The court made its decision because groups of people told the judges that moves are afoot to overthrow the constitutional monarchy.

Of course, their ultra-royalist allies at the Constitutional Court believe such nonsense, so when they get the order to intervene they are more than willing to take politically-biased and illegal decisions. Kaewsan cheers them:

The court should consider overall conditions when making its decision, not just the legal aspects. Based on this overall premise, the court has authority to suspend the process.

Yes, the Constitutional Court is not about the law. It is about politics and double standards. Kaewsan makes this crystal clear.

What do the complainants (and the Court) see as the threat to the monarchy under a process of constitutional reform? Kaewsan says they:

believe the [Puea Thai] government will use off-parliamentary power _ the red-shirt groups _ to augment its majority in parliament to acquire a level of state power which may exceed what is provided in the constitution.

More supposition, ignoring the fact that, today, following the initial acts of the People’s Alliance for Democracy, even the Democrat Party has its own extra-parliamentary “power.”

As we noted, Kaewsan is a lawyer, so we might wonder why he condones illegalities and the destruction of the Courts by ultra-royalists. In fact, he has a long history of playing fast and loose with law. Back when he was with the ASC, he made the remarkable claim that “evidence and witnesses are useless,” when one of its panels recommended legal action against Thaksin without hearing 300 witnesses or considering 100 additional pieces of evidence (Bangkok Post, 9 April 2008).

Nothing much changes when it comes to the ultra-royalist opposition to Thaksin, to elections and to ideas about popular democracy. The “protection” of the monarchy and the system it symbolizes trumps law, constitution and the voice of the people.

Update 1: As an antidote to this ultra-royalist dissembling, two articles in The Nation may assist. The first, cites four legal experts: “Somchai Preechasilapakul, from the Law Faculty of Chiang Mai University said he wondered if the judiciary had any power over the legislature, the power of which is connected to the public”; “Chulalongkorn University law lecturer Manit Jumpa also said he disagreed with the court’s decision to accept the petitions…”; “Mano Thongpan, an academic on law who is formerly an executive of the Law Society of Thailand, said that he did not think this case required urgent attention from the Constitution Court”; “Political scientist Likhit Dhiravegin, speaking at the same seminar, also questioned the court citing Article 68 for its decision to accept the petitions directly from the people, not a state agency.” The second story involves the statement from the real agency responsible for assessing the constitutional reform/amendment=conspiracy to overthrow the monarchy claim, the attorney-general:

The Attorney General’s Office said yesterday that government-sponsored bills to amend the Constitution were not aimed at overthrowing the political system, as has been alleged in petitions filed separately by five groups of people.

Winai Damrongmongkolkul, a spokesman for the agency, told a press conference last night the Attorney-General decided not to forward the petitions to the Constitution Court. “The amendment bills will not result in changes to the political system that are unconstitutional,” he said.

Update 2: PPT has been watching Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s non-involvement as an indicator of her lack of attention and fortitude for anything controversial. The Nation reports today: “… PM Yingluck Shinawatra has decided to avoid what could be a contentious debate, saying she has a busy schedule until next week.” What’s so pressing? What trumps the Constitutional Court’s launching of yet another judicial coup? Well, there’s flood stuff. Visiting people and looking at flood preparations. Yes, floods and preventing them are important, but missing this debate is a capitulation.

 





Yellow protest, part 2

3 03 2012

This is essentially an update on our earlier post on the ultra-royalists and other yellow shirts coming together to oppose constitutional change. We are making it a new post because it deserves more attention than a simple update.

The Nation reports on the Siam Samakkhi group that rallied at Lumpini Park and was headed up by former military junta member and appointed senator Somjet Boonthanom and anti-Thaksin yellow shirts Kaewsan Atibhodhi, appointed senator Somchai Sawaengkarn and Seri Wongmontha. Apparently also featured were  Chirmsak Pinthong and Banjerd Singkaneti. We are assuming that this was the same event we posted on earlier, but the report is a little vague on this.

In any case, here’s the significant bit:

[The group began] their talk by jokingly thanking the twins arrested on Thursday over Wednesday’s assault on Worajet Pakeerat, a member of the Nitirat group…. While they do not support violence, tolerance has its limits, the panel members said.

Their comment is truly reprehensible and these people are to be condemned in the strongest terms.

Just as bad is the Democrat Party. Their Sathit Wongnongtoey is in the same report stirring up more violence by making patently false claims regarding constitutional amendment. Of course, Sathit is well known as a purveyor of fabrications.





The yellow protests begin

3 03 2012

A week or so ago, Tul Sitthisomwong and his so-called Citizen Network for Protection of Motherland gathered all of 30 supporters to protest at parliament and to submit “letters opposing charter amendments to representatives of both the lower and upper House opposing charter amendments.” They promised more protests. A couple of days later, the People’s Alliance for Democracy “threatening legal action and mass rallies in response to the government’s charter amendment bid.” PAD also promised more rallies against constitutional change.

Those threats came together as what the Bangkok Post called an “anti-Thaksin Shinawatra alliance has kicked off a campaign against rewriting the charter, vowing to step up their protests if an amendment is touted that would allow his return.” Well, hardly a kick-off, but the first major rally, drawing about “1,000 supporters of the Siam Samakkhi group, led by appointed senator Somjet Boonthanom, packed out Lumpini Hall in Lumpini Park yesterday to protest against the constitution amendment.” Somjet is a former general and military junta member involved in planning and implementing the 2006 coup and often uses Tul as a Siam Samakkhi organizer. His group is closely aligned with alliance partner, the Sayam Prachapiwat group of ultra-royalist academics.

Former coup leader Somjet made the ironic claim that any move to change the constitution was a “coup under the camouflage of democracy and parliamentary majority.” Supporting the generalissimo were Tul and anti-Thaksin yellow shirts Kaewsan Atibhodhi, appointed senator Somchai Sawaengkarn and “academic” – he’s really a media personality and ultra-royalist – Seri Wongmontha.

The point of opposing any amendment to the constitution was made crystal clear when General Somjet said: “The 2007 constitution hurt Thaksin more than anybody. This government is using the CDA as a tool to nullify the 2007 constitution, which is no different to staging a coup…”. He added that any amendment would somehow deliver the Puea Thai Party “absolute power.”

It was added that Siam Aamakkhi had a particular interest in the position of the monarchy – who knew!? – and it was keen to “deter” any “attempts to undermine the roles and the status of the institution of the monarchy especially through the charter rewrite process.” It was also claimed that this did not just relate to chapter 2 of the charter, for the “roles and the powers of the institution were not just limited to Chapter 2…”.

More joint rallies are planned.








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